Chico to Yuba City – 48 miles
I don’t know how many times I’ll have to learn this lesson, but this was another. Considering that the route looked all downhill in Google Maps, I had faced a headwind on the way in, and the weather forecast appeared to be cooler than before, I figured if I left early enough, I could make it to Davis in one day. 90 miles. Me. One day. If you’ve been paying any attention at all to my mileage counts, you’ll know how funny that really is.
I started early, about 8:30, and after a few blocks got something in my directions mixed up. I was frustrated because I didn’t want to have to ride at night, and the mix up was costing me time. When I got back on track, I wasn’t going as fast as I had expected. I figured, it’s just morning, the wind will pick up. A few miles out of Durham, it did. The wrong way! Now I was frustrated and confused, but I kept riding. As the day went on, the temperature kept increasing. The forecast I had looked at showed it should only get up to the mid 80’s, but I definitely saw it get above 94. I wore my long sleeve to avoid another sunburn like last week, and asked to use a hose at a strawberry stand I passed to pour water on my shirt and head to keep myself cool. In Gridley, I rode past a man standing by his truck who hailed me down. We chatted for a bit about touring, biking, his rides with his daughter, and he invited me in to fill my water bottles, and gave me some snacks to take with me. Pete was confident that it was still early enough in the day for me to definitely make it to Davis (while I appreciate his confidence, I should have known better). Since I had a lot of ground to cover, I couldn’t stay very long and set out in no time.
Around 3:30 I was exhausted. I’d been pushing myself all day, only taking short breaks, trying to go faster. I was done. Fortunately I was only about a mile and a half from the house I had stayed at before. I had contacted the couchsurfer about the crazy coincidence and she had offered to host me on my way back. I decided to take her up on it. She let me know that she was at work, but I was welcome to stop by and see if anyone was home. I pulled up and decided to lay outside for a bit (though it wasn’t much cooler in the shade than on the road). The bike shop that was supposed to send me a replacement part for my front fender had called for some info. They finally had the part I needed and were ready to ship it out!
I thought I had mentioned this in a previous post, but I didn’t go into detail there. The morning I was going to leave SLO was the day I decided to buy and install some fenders (I know, I know, I need to stop waiting until the last minute). The shop had one set just for me so I bought them and went around the block to the bike kitchen to install them. The process was pretty simple, but since I had a train to catch that afternoon I was a little flustered. Fortunately, an old friend I hadn’t seen happened to stop by the shop! He told me about his one way ticket to Chile experience (spent a year teaching and rock climbing!) and working for an outdoor company in SLO now, I shared about my bike tour, while we installed the fenders. Unfortunately, a piece snapped and we couldn’t finish. I took the piece back to the shop and they said they would contact the manufacturer for me and ship me a new part. That was March 14th. It was March 30th when they finally had something to ship me. Anyway, fortunately I had a host in Portland arranged already, so I had an address for them. Good thing I wouldn’t actually need the front fender until then!
Apparently I had stumbled upon this family in the midst of a birthday! I was handed a beer and offered a towel to shower and freshen up before going out to dinner with them. I have often heard of the shower beer, but never partaken. Now I have, and maybe it was because I was so exhausted from riding all day, but it was wonderful. Toni and her family were great too, and we chatted about all the amazing places she’s been and all the travelers she’s hosted. After dinner, we all went back to the house for some cake and playtime with Toni’s 2-year-old niece. By bedtime, I was spent.
-5.3 hours riding, 7 hours traveling
-1 snake nearly squished
Yuba City to Davis – 49 miles
After nearly killing myself the day before, I decided not to think about speed or mileage this day. It was so much easier. This is definitely the way I prefer to ride. Hopefully this time I’ll remember this lesson and not try to bite off more than I can chew. I took lots of breaks, didn’t push myself, enjoyed the scenery (more of those jet black birds with red shoulders), smelled some flowers, listened to the birds chirping. Much easier. I got in to Davis around 4, and enjoyed the bike lanes, paths, and roundabouts (so bike friendly!) on the way to my friend Angela’s apartment. We got dinner and chatted for a bit until she had to go to a meeting. While she was out, I caught up on computer things, checked on my sunburn, and got ready for salsa dancing at the Grad! We went dancing for a few hours, and then stayed up way too late (probably past 3am) just talking and catching up on each other’s lives. It was a great time.
-6 hours riding, 8 hours traveling
-24 dogs annoyed, (3 that gave chase)
Davis to Sacramento – 31 miles
Considering how late we stayed up the night before, it’s amazing we got up and out of Angela’s apartment by 8am. I spent a little more time checking out my bike and loading it before taking off for the day. Since Sacramento is so close to Davis, I knew this would be a short day. Biking through the Davis campus, I learned the real meaning of bike traffic. There are so many cyclists that you actually have to continuously keep an eye out, obey all traffic laws, and you could still get run over; and that’s on separated bikeways! It was scary navigating with all my gear and since I didn’t know where to go, but I think it would be really cool as a local. I stopped by the co-op I had stayed at the week before to say hi and pick up something I’d left. The plan was to meet the bus at noon in Sacramento, but an email told me they wouldn’t be taking off until 3pm. I decided that was enough time for an REI detour. Took a bike trail next to I-5 across some marshy land all the way into Sac. Bike lanes to the waterfront where they have an awesome bike/pedestrian path, across the bridge to another bikeway through the center of Sacramento all the way to REI. I have never spent much time in Sac, but my brief journey left me wondering what other hidden gems the city held. I picked up a few things that I needed and continued on to meet the bus. Having never been to recess and never ridden a hippie bus, I was definitely uncertain about what I would find when I pulled up. I didn’t have an exact address, just a general idea of where it would be, so I rode around a bit, and then I saw it! It was an old school bus painted up with some people hanging out on the sidewalk playing music and dancing. It was excellent. It hadn’t been a long ride, but it was the beginning of my next adventure and I was so excited!
-3.5 hours riding, 8 hours traveling
-3 times confused directions